- PRESS RELEASE
Euro area monthly balance of payments: December 2021
18 February 2022
- Current account recorded €23 billion surplus in December 2021, down from €24 billion in previous month
- Current account surplus amounted to €310 billion (2.6% of euro area GDP) in 2021, up from €213 billion (1.9%) in 2020
- In financial account, euro area residents’ net acquisitions of non-euro area portfolio investment securities totalled €752 billion and non-residents’ net acquisitions of euro area portfolio investment securities totalled €240 billion in 2021
Euro area current account balance
The current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €23 billion in December 2021, a decrease of €1 billion from the previous month (Chart 1 and Table 1). Surpluses were recorded for services (€18 billion), goods (€11 billion) and primary income (€7 billion). These were partly offset by a deficit for secondary income (€14 billion).
Current account of the euro area
In 2021, the current account recorded a surplus of €310 billion (2.6% of euro area GDP), compared with a surplus of €213 billion (1.9% of euro area GDP) in 2020. This increase was driven by larger surpluses for services (up from €6 billion to €123 billion) and primary income (up from €32 billion to €53 billion), only partly offset by a reduction in the surplus for goods (down from €340 billion to €296 billion). The deficit for secondary income remained broadly stable (down from €164 billion to €163 billion).
Selected items of the euro area financial account
In direct investment, euro area residents made net investments of €107 billion in non-euro area assets in 2021, following net disinvestments of €15 billion in 2020 (Chart 2 and Table 2). Non-residents disinvested €168 billion in net terms from euro area assets in 2021, following net acquisitions of €160 billion in 2020.
In portfolio investment, euro area residents’ net purchases of non-euro area equity increased to €329 billion in 2021, up from €306 billion in 2020. Over the same period, net purchases of non-euro area debt securities by euro area residents increased to €423 billion, up from €368 billion in 2020. Non-residents’ net purchases of euro area equity increased to €453 billion in 2021, up from €118 billion in 2020. Over the same period, non-residents made net sales of euro area debt securities amounting to €213 billion, following net purchases of €17 billion in 2020.
Financial account of the euro area
In other investment, euro area residents recorded net acquisitions of non-euro area assets amounting to €164 billion in 2021 (following net acquisitions of €307 billion in 2020), while their net incurrence of liabilities increased to €744 billion (up from €456 billion in 2020).
Monetary presentation of the balance of payments
The monetary presentation of the balance of payments (Chart 3) shows that the net external assets (enhanced) of euro area MFIs decreased by €151 billion in 2021. This decrease was mainly driven by euro area non-MFIs’ net outflows in portfolio investment debt and, to a lesser extent, in direct investment. These developments were partly offset by the current and capital accounts surplus and, to a lesser extent, by euro area non-MFIs’ net inflows in portfolio investment equity, other investment and other flows.
In December 2021 the Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets increased to €1,057.0 billion, up from €1,045.4 billion in the previous month (Table 3). This increase was driven by positive price changes in monetary gold (€10.8 billion) and positive exchange rate changes (€1.5 billion), only partly offset by net sales of assets (€0.8 billion).
Reserve assets of the euro area
This press release incorporates revisions to the data for October and November 2021. These revisions did not significantly alter the figures previously published.
- Monthly balance of payments: 22 March 2022 (reference data up to January 2022)
- Quarterly balance of payments and international investment position: 5 April 2022 (reference data up to the fourth quarter of 2021)
For media queries, please contact Philippe Rispal, tel.: +49 69 1344 5482.
- Current account data are always seasonally and working day-adjusted, unless otherwise indicated, whereas capital and financial account data are neither seasonally nor working day-adjusted.
- Hyperlinks in this press release lead to data that may change with subsequent releases as a result of revisions.